Register FAQ / Rules Forum Spy Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read
Go Back   MacRumors Forums > Apple Hardware > Buying Tips and Advice

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old Jan 27, 2013, 10:39 PM   #1
Sossity
macrumors 6502a
 
Join Date: May 2010
Bare 3.5 hard drives, & enclosures vs buying all in one external hard drive

I have been looking around at hard drives & enclosures.

I read that it is more economical to get bare hard drives, & swap them out in enclosures.

But I am finding that as capacities of hard drives increase, my enclosures that I have are already obsolete, I see 4tb hard drives now, & all my enclosures are rated to support up to 2tb.

I dont want to have to keep buying new enclosures to accommodate bigger capacity hard drives almost every year, or at least for the enclosures to last more than just a couple of years.

On the other hand I can just buy a whole external hard drive in an enclosure ready made, & it seems cheaper this way.
Sossity is online now   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jan 27, 2013, 10:48 PM   #2
jav6454
macrumors G5
 
jav6454's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: 1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
What type of system do you have a Mac Pro? External? All that matters with enclosures is that they are rated at the same speed as the drive.
__________________
Al MacBook 2.4GHz Late '08 | 5 S⃣ | Macross Click Me
jav6454 is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jan 27, 2013, 11:27 PM   #3
Sossity
Thread Starter
macrumors 6502a
 
Join Date: May 2010
I currently have a mac mini 2011, & I am not using these particular drives to back up the mini, these are just external hard drives for all my data.

so all that is important is that the enclosure's rated rotational speed be the same as the bare hard drive I am placing in it?

will I be able to place a 4tb bare hard drive into a 2tb rated enclosure?
Sossity is online now   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jan 27, 2013, 11:32 PM   #4
costabunny
macrumors 68000
 
costabunny's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: ~/
Send a message via Skype™ to costabunny
Used to be true but in these past twelve months I have purchased several externals (for various friends/family) and found in nearly all cases I could get a ready-made on offer formless than the bare drive price.

Eg got a 3Tb western digital external and at the time the best price for a 3tb wd disk on its own was about £3 more than this package deal from currys.

I think it depends on actors such as what brands you want and if you are fussy about quality of enclosure?

I find having all in one from WD or seagate etc means warranty on disk and the box.

Only time i got a separate box lately was to put my 3tb seagate into a USB3.0 box. Got a good quality box for £30 from a local supplier that I've known for many years.

Piece of mind is worth a few pounds extra in my opinion.
__________________
Bunny has an iPhone 5C, an iPad Mini Retina, a PC & a MacBook Pro retina

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”
costabunny is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jan 28, 2013, 09:18 AM   #5
frankieboy
macrumors regular
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
I think the OEMs don't use the same quality drives in their ready-made enclosures that they sell as regular bare drives. For example, Seagate's Freeagent series do not use Barracuda-quality drives, they use some inferior one.

So it may be worth the extra cost to buy a top-shelf bare drive and put it in a decent enclosure.
frankieboy is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jan 29, 2013, 01:06 AM   #6
toxic
macrumors 68000
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
1. it's not necessarily more economical to buy separate drives and enclosures. its usually cheaper up front to buy preassembled - the advantage of buying separate is being able to swap drives or enclosures separately, so if one part dies, or you need more space or a different connection technology, you don't have to buy a whole new (preassembled) external drive.

2. all enclosures support all hard drive capacities. when they list a max of 2TB, that just means 2TB was the largest capacity available at the time the enclosure was made.
toxic is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jan 29, 2013, 07:10 AM   #7
js81
macrumors 65816
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: KY
My $.02

I've had both...

First, I only buy Western Digital drives; not that the others are bad, it's just that I've had great luck with WD and "if it ain't broke, don't fix it."

Second, I see both sides of this - pre-made ARE usually cheaper, but they're kind of one time use. Third-party enclosures are a crap-shoot, though; you never really know what you'll get. For example, I recently bought a very nice looking Masscool enclosure from Newegg, but it wouldn't spin down the drive. EVER. (Unless I switched its physical power switch, of course.) I want my drives to spin down when my mini sleeps.

I have two excellent OWC enclosures for 2.5" drives. I'm getting ready to buy a Mercury Elite Pro 3.5"; OWC has already confirmed that it WILL spin down when my mini sleeps.
__________________
Late-09 Mac mini server, 16GB iPad 2
js81 is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jan 29, 2013, 08:06 AM   #8
paulrbeers
macrumors 68040
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Actually, I find that external drives are often times on sale for cheaper than bare internal drives. Especailly around black friday. I actually picked up 6 - 3TB external drives from Seagate from Bestbuy and Amazon and each one was 99.99 (had to pay tax on the Best Buy ones). Looking at Newegg the prices for internal 3TB bare drives is currently $140 for the cheapest. I ended up ripping the drives out to the enclosures since I actually needed bare drives. Downside to this is I completely negated any warranty, but since I paid $600 for 18TB of storage compared going with the externals as opposed to $840 for bare drives I'll take the chance.

So no it is not necessarily cheaper to buy a bare drive and add an enclosure. Now what I will say, is that generally buying cheap externals means that the drive itself is usually in a cheap plastic case with poor thermal dissipation. If I want to keep a long term external drive, I usually do "roll my own", because I like active cooling in my hard drive cases (i.e. a fan) and/or go for aluminum cases as opposed to cheap plastic passive cases. However, these cases will generally run you about $50 so prepare to pay a lot compared to a cheap external....

Just my .02 worth.
__________________
rMBP 11,2 15" 2.0Ghz w/ 256GB SSD
MBA 6,2 13" 1.7Ghz w/ 256GB SSD
Mac Mini 6,2 2.3ghz w/ 240GB SSD + 1TB
Mac Pro 1,1 w/ 8 cores @ 2.66 w/ 240GB SSD
paulrbeers is offline   1 Reply With Quote
Old Jan 29, 2013, 08:43 AM   #9
monokakata
macrumors 65816
 
monokakata's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Hilo, Hawai'i
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sossity View Post
so all that is important is that the enclosure's rated rotational speed be the same as the bare hard drive I am placing in it?
Enclosure electronics don't care at all about rotational speeds. As others have said, you can occasionally get into a situation where the enclosure's electronics won't handle a particular size of drive. That wasn't rare in the old days, but I think it's a thing of the past now.

Since you have a mini, take a look at this enclosure.

http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Newer...ogy/MSQKIT0GB/

It matches your mini (or so it's claimed), and has an excellent set of interfaces (FW400 and 800, USB2 and 3, eSATA). I've been running one (3 TB disk inside) for a couple of months and it's performed flawlessly.

The biggest advantage of buying an enclosure and bare drive is that it's very easy to swap the drive for another one, anytime you want to. And if you can handle a small Philips-head screwdriver, you can install a drive. Nothing to it -- a 5 minute job, if that.
monokakata is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Feb 8, 2013, 06:40 AM   #10
jwjsr
macrumors 6502
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Fairhope, Alabama
Quote:
Originally Posted by monokakata View Post
Enclosure electronics don't care at all about rotational speeds. As others have said, you can occasionally get into a situation where the enclosure's electronics won't handle a particular size of drive. That wasn't rare in the old days, but I think it's a thing of the past now.

Since you have a mini, take a look at this enclosure.

http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Newer...ogy/MSQKIT0GB/

It matches your mini (or so it's claimed), and has an excellent set of interfaces (FW400 and 800, USB2 and 3, eSATA). I've been running one (3 TB disk inside) for a couple of months and it's performed flawlessly.

The biggest advantage of buying an enclosure and bare drive is that it's very easy to swap the drive for another one, anytime you want to. And if you can handle a small Philips-head screwdriver, you can install a drive. Nothing to it -- a 5 minute job, if that.
Nice, what drive did u install? Would you recommend getting the bare bones one or the one with the software bundle?
jwjsr is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Feb 8, 2013, 07:18 AM   #11
Giuly
macrumors 68040
 
Giuly's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: That depends whether you ask for timezone, state of mind or GPS coordinates.
This should answer your question:
4TB Western Digital MyBook USB 3.0 - $199
4TB Western Digital Scorpio Black (bare drive) - $299.

The actual hard drive in the MyBook is a Scorpio Black.

But you'd need the Western Digital MyBook Studio FireWire800, as you don't have USB 3.0 on your Mid-2011 Mac Mini.

Last edited by Giuly; Feb 8, 2013 at 07:25 AM.
Giuly is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Feb 8, 2013, 12:52 PM   #12
monokakata
macrumors 65816
 
monokakata's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Hilo, Hawai'i
Quote:
Originally Posted by jwjsr View Post
Nice, what drive did u install? Would you recommend getting the bare bones one or the one with the software bundle?
I dropped one of the 3 TB Seagates into it.

ST3000DM001

and I see that Amazon has them for $132.

I didn't get the software bundle.
monokakata is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Feb 8, 2013, 01:47 PM   #13
js81
macrumors 65816
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: KY
Quote:
Originally Posted by monokakata View Post
I dropped one of the 3 TB Seagates into it.
Don't drop a hard drive! It's bad for its health! lol

I debated and debated on a mini stack, but since my mini's an '09, I decided to wait and get one when I get a new mini.
__________________
Late-09 Mac mini server, 16GB iPad 2
js81 is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Feb 8, 2013, 02:41 PM   #14
Giuly
macrumors 68040
 
Giuly's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: That depends whether you ask for timezone, state of mind or GPS coordinates.
The Pegasus J4 is a nice stack - if it holds 2TB WD Green (2.5" and 15mm high), which I doubt. But nice for SSDs, too.
Thumb resize.
Giuly is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Feb 8, 2013, 03:40 PM   #15
monokakata
macrumors 65816
 
monokakata's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Hilo, Hawai'i
Quote:
Originally Posted by js81 View Post
Don't drop a hard drive! It's bad for its health! lol
This is a safe-for-work site, so I didn't want to say that I slipped it in.
monokakata is offline   1 Reply With Quote
Old Feb 11, 2013, 10:01 PM   #16
Macsonic
macrumors 65816
 
Macsonic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Earth
Send a message via Yahoo to Macsonic
Try buying your 3.5 HD and enclosure from one store/supplier so in cases of repairs, you only need to go to one source or the store can easily isolate if the problem is with the HD or the enclosure.
Macsonic is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Feb 12, 2013, 11:10 AM   #17
Fishrrman
macrumors 68040
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
I'm a big fan of "USB/SATA docks".

With a hard drive mounted in a USB dock --
- If the drive fails, just eject it and insert another drive
- If the dock fails, just replace it with a working dock (and your existing drives)
- Makes it easy to manage multiple drives and backups.
- Can be booted from if necessary

I use a plugable.com "lay-flat" dock in conjunction with an Intel 520 series SSD to serve as the "external booter" for my 2012 Mac Mini. Mounted this way, the drive runs VERY fast (over 410mbps reads), no random disconnects, no sleep issues.

The only reason I'd again use an actual "externally-enclosed" hard drive is for purposes of portability. But even a docked drive is readily portable.
Fishrrman is offline   0 Reply With Quote

Reply
MacRumors Forums > Apple Hardware > Buying Tips and Advice

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Similar Threads
thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Nice Bus-Powered External Hard Drive Enclosures cazzette Mac Peripherals 12 Jul 2, 2014 07:29 PM
Best multibay hard drive external enclosures Sossity Mac Peripherals 20 Feb 13, 2013 12:26 AM
Fusion Drive vs. external thunderbolt hard drives Simonmiller iMac 28 Nov 29, 2012 11:20 AM
External Hard Drive Enclosures?? NikiPod MacBook Pro 2 Oct 1, 2012 01:46 PM
Buying external hard drive 3.0 monsow MacBook Pro 2 Aug 11, 2012 04:36 AM

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:24 PM.

Mac Rumors | Mac | iPhone | iPhone Game Reviews | iPhone Apps

Mobile Version | Fixed | Fluid | Fluid HD
Copyright 2002-2013, MacRumors.com, LLC